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Return of the Donald – Episode 1 Commentary

Return of the Donald: Apprentice 3 Demands Your Attention!
Commentary
By: Tony Roach

Donald Trump claiming his love for New York, candidates sporting bow ties, Carolyn glaring at the contestants…I know what you’re thinking, “The Apprentice is back already”? I swear that’s Kelly (season two winner) in the candidates suite still packing his bags, and was that Ivana pulling up her pants unaware that season three has already begun. Not even two months after the finale of The Apprentice 2, The Donald is back along with his sidekicks for the third installment of this popular reality series…and no it’s not the same old sixteen-week job interview. College graduates playing guitar, a dog urinating on a contestant’s leg, someone actually dropping the F-bomb while talking to Mr. Trump. Welcome to season three of The Apprentice.

This season The Apprentice seems to have much more to offer than the previous season two. The eighteen candidates are now divided up into two distinct groups; “Book smarts vs. Street smarts”. Magna Corp. (book smart) consists of nine candidates with college degrees, while Net Worth (street smart) consists of nine candidates with a high school diploma. The season three contestants seem to breathe some life into the NBC hit that showed a slight decline in ratings with season two. While the previous two seasons were enjoyable, the premiere of The Apprentice 3 introduced us to eighteen contestants that you can actually relate to. In the past two seasons, us loyal viewers have been use to the stoned face professionals who think that showing no emotion will land them the job as Mr. Trump’s right hand man, or woman. However, this season the candidates look as if they are actually having fun. Even Carolyn and George cracked a smile for the camera every now and then. The usual back stabbing and manipulating has not yet begun. Instead, the producers of the show have treated us to some laughable moments and may have found the key to drawing the viewers right back into the boardroom.

The tasks remain pretty much the same and the premise of the show has not changed much. The losing team is still invited back into the boardroom “Where someone will be fired!” Instead of having the option to take three people back into the boardroom, the project manager can only take two of the contestants back in, like it was in the original Apprentice. The boardroom still remains suspenseful and Carolyn and George seem to be more comfortable in stating their opinion to Mr. Trump and the contestants. In the last season of The Apprentice some hasty boardroom decisions were made, but that was not the case in this season premier. We said goodbye to Todd, which I thought was the correct decision and witnessed George and Carolyn stick up for the amusing Danny, who the team was ready to sacrifice. The only downfall I saw in tonight’s episode was the constant referral to the Net Worth team as “only having a high school diploma”. In fact, at one point The Donald asked Magna Corp. if they were embarrassed to be beaten by high school graduates. For many a high school diploma is an accomplishment and I felt that it was little degrading to the Net Worth team, who triumphed in their victory!

Overall, I feel that The Apprentice 3 premiere was a success and proved capable of remaining one of televisions hottest reality shows. At first I thought that it might be to soon for another installment of bickering entrepreneurs fighting to be reality TV’s next success story. But with smart casting and endless promotions NBC and Donald trump shoved The Apprentice back into our faces and left us wanting more. I even thought Carolyn was looking pretty good! So now The Donald is back and so are the rest of us for another three months of “first time ever” and “most intense boardroom yet” campaigns, but I know that millions of viewers will still tune in each week to see who will succeed, who will fail…who will be the next Apprentice!

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